Warm Saskatchewan weather spells early load limits

A rail car from SGCC’s fleet. (Dave Bedard photo)

A long spell of spring-like weather in Saskatchewan’s southwest has softened roads to the point where winter weights are about to be removed.

Increased winter weights will end in southwestern Saskatchewan, including several major roads and 70 rural municipalities, starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday (Feb. 24), the provincial highways department announced Wednesday.

Affected roads will include the Trans-Canada Highway from Regina to the Alberta border; Highway 2 from the U.S. border to Moose Jaw; Highway 4 from the U.S. border to Saskatchewan Landing, north of Swift Current; Highway 6 from the U.S. border to Regina; Highway 21 from the U.S. border to Highway 44; and Highway 32 from Highway 1 to Leader, among others.

“Truckers and shippers are advised to monitor their loads and watch for restrictions during what is a very sensitive period for some of our highways as the roadbed thaws and becomes weaker,” the province said.

Updates for load limits are to be provided every Tuesday and Friday by 12:30 p.m. until March 15, when winter weights are no longer in effect, the province said.

Truckers will also need to be aware of upcoming spring road bans and follow weight limits on secondary roads during “this fragile six-week thaw period.”

Typically, freezing conditions during winter months strengthen road beds, allowing roads to support heavier axle weights. Saskatchewan’s winter weight limits are generally in place from mid-November through mid-March.

Road restriction orders are available online or by calling 306-787-7623 in Regina; 306-933-8333 in Saskatoon; across Canada at 1-888-335-7623; and on SaskTel’s cellular network at *ROAD. — AGCanada.com Network

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